Friday, February 16, 2007

Time flows by...: April 6, 2005

Dear Family,
I have been here in Napoli for a month. I am learning, but it seems that it is a different environment, a different teaching style that often exhausts me and makes me want to think much more often. We had interviews this week and I spoke with President for a while. I learned something that I've always wanted to know - my whole life - and could never find the answer. I've never really understood why some of us are blessed with talents and abilities in that everything comes easily and others seem to struggle with learning a new skill, regardless of what field of study. Certainly we all have talents, but the parable of the talents and every single other scriptural reference and General Conference talk that talks about talents simply states them as blessings, and that we gain blessings by our own good works. I have never understood why so many things come easily for me - why am I so blessed? I was talking with the Mission President and asked him a question. Suddenly the Spirit hit me and told me that yes - there is a law decreed irrevocably in Heaven, and when you receive a blessing it is only upon obedience to that law, but that the Gospel is founded on principles of charity! Our greatest blessings come, not from our own obedience, but from the diligence of others. Resurrection is a free gift from Christ. In the same way, the efforts and prayers and faith of those around us and our forebears act upon the Heavens to open the windows and pour out upon us blessings - what do you think it means to not have room to receive the blessing? It goes to someone else! Simply by living life the best we can, the Lord will bless us as much as He can. All the extra blessings that the law requires to be sent are either stored up in Heaven (building mansions...) or sent to others here on earth. Once we have established our own personal worthiness, then many of our blessings probably affect those we love! Suddenly it makes sense to me - I didn't have to be some amazingly faithful person in the Premortal life to have the blessings I have (something that all the scriptures point to but I could never believe). To the contrary, the blessings I have are sacred stewardships - based upon the sacrifices of my parents and loved ones - men and women who loved the Lord enough to be faithful to Him. Men and women whose actions translated into blessings for me so that I could use them to build the kingdom of God. It makes me want to find my talents more and use them for others. I also don't have to worry about why we are so diverse - the Lord has decided to bless us as we are, and with the talents we have the Lord has faith that we can bless the lives of others. Wow!
This is a poem for our friends across the street, along with my testimony.

The trees are green and the flowers bloom And the birds sing in the sky,
The sun keeps shining and the world goes on And you begin to wonder why
A God in Heaven wouldn't seem to see
The raindrops from on high
Running down your face -
Why He wouldn't hear your cry...
Just listen to your heart, and His reply,
Dearest Daughters, Dearest Sons,
I would give all that I have to every one,
But you must turn to find the peace
That you are searching for -
E'en as for light a summer's bloom turns to the Sun.
Your lives are ever churning,
And your thoughts go to the past.
With every passing memory
The moment seems to last
For an eternity...
But listen as the Spirit speaks to you
The message that He shares is peace
And every word is true.
Dearest Daughters, Dearest Sons
I've given all I have for every one.
And if the pain is strong,
And every hope is gone,
And the night is long in tears
Listen to my song,
And quiet all your fears -
For the light I give unto the world
Is the Gospel of my Son.
Listen to your heart
And turn unto the Son.

I know that God has revealed His eternal plan of happiness once more, through a living prophet. If we learn His teachings and follow them, He has promised that we can find peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
I think it would be a good time to share the everlasting Gospel with them.
Sorry, I drained all my time into that poem. We have had a wonderful week and our "grandpa's" family is golden. Almost every child is very interested in the Gospel - he is the father of 8 and all? of them are married. We spoke with many of them (crazy - teaching a lesson and people come in and out and in and out) and I have faith that the Lord will hear their prayers and they will find peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are working hard - and I am grateful to know, absolutely that every act of faith is answered with a blessing. We have been trying to work miracles here - watch out for them back there at home (I hear that sometimes these things get sent to different addresses and such - I still haven't figured out the Postal system (of Italy or Heaven))! We didn't get to see conference - the satellite was broken - and thus I will have to wait to listen to a Prophet's voice. We did get to listen to a few talks and parts of sessions on the internet... but it's different.
Well, I'm running out of time - we spend an hour and we're going to the American base today.
I love all of you!
Happy Birthday little sister!
I'm sorry I didn't have time to write anything for your baptism little sister, but perhaps someone could read my poem and talk about the peace that the Gospel has brought into their life. Make sure to invite lots of friends (missionary work).
Again, send my love on to others - I love you!

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